Phyllis J. Winkler, accomplished sailor

May 20, 2014
Phyllis J. Winkler

Phyllis J. Winkler, 64, of Wilmington and Dewey Beach, passed away on Friday, May 16, 2014, after a brief illness at Johns Hopkins, surrounded by family.

Phyllis was born in Akron, Ohio, the oldest of five children, to William and Betty Hearn. She graduated from high school in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1967, and subsequently relocated to Delaware where her father was an engineer with Hercules. She began her career as a legal secretary with Richards, Layton and Finger and retired in 2012 after 39 years of dedicated service.

Phyllis had a smile that would light up a room and a joie de vivre that inspired and cheered clients and friends alike. She met her husband, Philip, in 1999 at a Barn Door Happy Hour and they married two years later. For their honeymoon they traveled to Paris with a dozen of their friends and chartered two trawlers to explore the canals of Burgundy.

In subsequent years they sailed in the British Virgin Islands, St. Vincent and Grenada, and her beloved Chesapeake Bay where they kept their sailboat in Rock Hall. Phyllis was very proud to pass the ASA sailing school and to be able to skipper the boat herself as well as sail it into the slip with no engine where everyone in the marina applauded her.

Phyllis also enjoyed spending time in the sun in her beloved Dewey Beach house on Read Avenue. She made many friends in the small beach town and loved the annual February weekend there with her best girlfriends of 40 years, Gail, Susie and Bobbie.

She is survived by her husband, Philip; daughter Jennifer Ferranto; granddaughter Brianna Ferranto; great-grandchildren Jaxon and Phenyx; stepdaughter Alicia Winkler; siblings Mary Fay (Mike), William Hearn (Trish), Judith Coker (Chuck) and James Hearn (Denise), along with many nieces and nephews.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Child Inc., 507 Philadelphia Pike, Wilmington, DE 19809